The first establishment reviewed in Belleville is setting the standard pretty high for other bars in the same city. Everything from the exterior murals to the interior decoration is top notch at this place but best of all is the beer garden. This day-drinkers paradise contains plenty of space for a group of friends to listen to the ball game and relive stories that have been told a hundred times over. This is a good place to gather your friends and grab a beer.
Heading south on route 159, immediately after crossing into the city of Belleville, sits Sullivan’s. This bar is sandwiched between the city border and the Norfolk-Southern train track.
The building that once housed the bar formally known as Sidetracks was purchased by Jackie and Steve (Sully) Sullivan in 2002. That fall they began a major renovation and within a few months they re-opened the place under the name Sullivan’s.
The bar itself is basically three separate areas operating in one large room. On one end you have a small area complete with comfortable seating and a large gas fireplace. In the middle is the main bar area with a pool table and bar. Finally you have what just months ago was a front porch but has since been enclosed and turned into a room with seating offering views leading north and south on route 159.
The decor of this place is hard to describe. Does slightly European with a touch of Mardi Gras make sense? The owners have decorated the place with pieces collected from around Europe but at the same have added a definite touch of Soulard to the place. The owners recently hired a local artist to paint a mural on the outside of the building that directly reflects what you can expect to find once you step inside.
If you do any drinking in Illinois you are well aware that Illinois is a smoke free state. Due to these laws many bars have been adding outdoor seating areas and beer gardens. Sullivan’s is way ahead of the game and has potentially one of the best beer gardens around.
Here are some interesting bits of information. As of the time of this review, Sullivan’s is believed to be the only place south of Springfield, Il. that serves Pilsner Urquell on tap. For Mardi Gras Sullivan’s is planning on shipping in New Orleans’ own Abita beer. Sullivan’s is a stop on the Belleville Bicycle Poker Run. Sullivan’s is very active in the local community and is a proud sponsor of the Belleville Rowdies Rugby team.
Beers on tap:
Irish - Guiness, Smithwicks, Harp.
Domestic - Coors light, Blue Moon, Boulevard Pale Ale, Stag.
German/Czech – Spatan Munich, Paulaner, Pilsner Urquell.
Popular drink: Sully’s Bloody Mary. Best served on a Sunday.